Sometimes you see a revolutionary new product and you just think “wow”; but then you fear that your excitement will be let down by a poor product and you try not to get too worked up about it. But then, when it arrives and you have it in your hands, you realise that it is, [...]
Sometimes you see a revolutionary new product and you just think “wow”; but then you fear that your excitement will be let down by a poor product and you try not to get too worked up about it. But then, when it arrives and you have it in your hands, you realise that it is, in fact, one of those rare ‘wow’ products that not only lives up to its marketing hype but also to your expectations and wildest dreams. The Ecovez iPhone case from Innovez is NOT one of those. It is, in fact, possibly the worst case for my iPhone I have ever used. Perhaps it may be seen as bad practice to slate a product so early into the review but if you read on I hope you will see just why I feel this way…
Shortly after we covered Jivo’s biodegradable case at MWC earlier this year we received an email from Innovez claiming that they had released the first ever translucent biodegradable case made using EcoPure (the same ingredient that makes Jivo’s cases biodegradable). I was sent some images to tease me while the samples were in transit from Chicago. I like the design of the case – it’s certainly different with the curve on the bottom left and the cutaway for the camera lens. I’m not particularly bothered about the whole ‘eco’ side of things but at least this case dared to be different.
On arrival I was faced with three cases – a red, a green and a black/grey. The packaging was quite neat and consisted of a wooden box held together with magnets and enclosed by a card wrap; simple and very effective. I was, however, surprised to see that the glossy plastic case was laid in the slightly rough wooden case completely naked. The box wasn’t a tight fit so the iPhone case had a bit of leeway to move around and it was actually a little marked when first taken out of the box. The green and black cases were sent in small plastic bags to reduce the weight of the overall package and so were nice and shiny still. OK, so they’re trying to be eco-friendly here but surely there are eco-friendly wrappers they could have used to protect the case from the packaging?
Anyway, enough of the packaging. Why do I dislike the case so much? Well, firstly it is quite a snug fit and the plastic is quite hard. How can I put this politely…?! It scratched my iPhone. Yes, you read that right, the case designed to protect my iPhone actually damaged it. It’s not a massively obvious scratch, the camera can’t even pick it up, but I know it’s there and it is most visible as it runs top to bottom over the shiny silver Apple logo. Not happy. One theory I had for this was maybe a bit of the wooden box, even only a tiny grain, had landed inside the case as there was no protection and then when the iPhone was slid into it the tight fit caused it to rub against the back of the phone.
The stylish aluminium logos are not flush with the case but stick out about a millimetre – possibly slightly more. They are sharp and they hurt if you catch your fingers on one of their many edges. I actually ripped my jeans pocket with the Ecovez case – the back logo got caught when I was attempting to answer a call. Perhaps more worrying, although some effort was involved, I managed to draw blood form a friends hand using the aluminium inserts [do not try this at home, this was done by 'trained' professionals etc etc etc]. Do NOT put this case down on a table – it WILL scratch it.
The case fits snugly and allows access to the dock, speaker, microphone, volume and headphone sockets. However, one design flaw, in my opinion, is at the top of the back of the case. My iPhone, like yours, curves in at the top but the case, because the iPhone slides in from the top, is not fitted to this curve. As such there is a ‘lip’ at the back which, like the ‘recycle-leaf’ logo, will catch on your fingers, hands and pocket lining. It’s also actually quite sharp itself. There’s a theme here… Some more rounded corners wouldn’t go amiss! The inside corner of the case is rounded, presumably to allow the iPhone to slip in easier, but the outer corners are too sharp.
In general the case is very sturdy but the top could be a weak point. The top is all open and the front, as you can see in the photo’s, is also quite thin. It has a lot of ‘give’ in it – it may be strong enough to withstand a lot of force but I didn’t want to test it to destruction! It certainly didn’t ‘feel’ particularly strong and sturdy like the rest of the case. I actually thought it could snap on the many occasions the case got caught in my pocket.
I mentioned earlier about the aluminium logo’s sticking out from the rest of the case – this actually causes another issue. The pieces are glued in place and, because they are sharp, get caught on things and generally like to cause trouble, they also come off. Within an hour of using the case half of the Innovez logo had fallen off in my pocket…
So, there you have it! A nice idea, but poorly executed. I like the general design of the case such as the parts that overlay the front of the iPhone but it is sadly let down by poor manufacturing. It physically hurts to use this case, and it’s too damaging to your iPhone, your clothes and your friends hands! Sorry Innovez, it’s just not quite there…
I have three of these cases and, to be perfectly honest, I don’t want any of them. Therefore, if for some strange reason you want one (maybe as a present for an ex or your Mother-in-Law) then follow us on Twitter @Wired4iPhone and keep a look out for a competition coming soon!
Competition has now been launched. Simply tweet the following 140 characters:
Win 1 of 3 Ecovez iPhone cases (http://bit.ly/cT9uWf) RT with this hashtag: #w4iECOVEZ. Random winners selected Tue 1st Jun. (@Wired4iPhone)